In an address to the Joint Sessions of the 32nd World Diamond Congress, Varda Shine, Managing Director of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), said that the diamond industry needs to act together, be more consumer-oriented and more innovative in order to successfully face future challenges. Shine emphasized that working together as a team would strengthen consumer confidence especially given the threats of synthetic and conflict diamonds. She also stressed the importance of understanding cultural preferences when appealing to consumers in different nations. Shine said that �innovation breathes new life� into the industry and underlined the importance of strong brand personalities.
Shine went on to note the apparent changes the industry has seen over the last five years. She noted an improvement in industry professionalism as well as good governance; she cited that 99% of world diamonds are not only conflict free but also bring huge benefits to African economies. Shine also pointed out that the demand for diamonds is so great that other luxury brands, such as Gucci, Mont Blanc, Smirnoff, etc. don�t want to miss out on diamond branding opportunities.
As part of the changes within the industry, Shine said that the DTC would be re-examining its Supplier of Choice (SoC) strategy in order to suit the new conditions in the market place today and in the future. She said that what was right for the year 2000, when SoC was first instituted, is no longer right for today, and the DTC is asking itself �how can we evolve SoC for the next five years?� Shine said that, in any case, the policy would not be cancelled, but will be updated.
During this open session, hosted by incoming WFDB President Ernest Blom and IDMA President Jeffrey Fisher, Alrosa President Alexander Nichiporuk spoke of the changes that the Russian company has undergone in recent years. Additionally, Aber Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Gannicott spoke of the relationship between diamond producing and retailing.